on cities and anti-RV laws

This is from a reddit thread where someone was expressing dismay at Flagstaff’s hostility to nomads.  This was my take, edited for this context:


I think it’s a weather-wealth-business complex:

  1. A place has desirable climate or views throughout the year (California) or at least part of the year (Flagstaff, Colorado, etc).

  2. wealthy people buy nice houses there for pleasure

  3. local businesses make their living selling services to tourists:  restaurants, motels, RV parks, etc.

  4. homeless folk come for the forgiving climate. Wealthy people don’t like that. They exaggerate any actual concerns with emotional tropes, but most is veiled innuendo about Undesirables.

  5. RVers and other nomads come for the climate/views and stay in their own acommodations. Local businesses don’t like that.

  6. homeowners and businesses team up to lobby the municipality to run the Undesirables out of town.  One term for bad faith agitation is lawfare:  using the power of the state for one’s own rent-seeking ends.

  7. the municipality feigns concern for “health and welfare” in order to pass laws gatekeeping against Undesirables.   The resulting laws are sometimes so artless and transparent they get struck down by the courts.

In yet another “City considers ban on RVers” article last week, the main cheerleader for the ban owned both an RV park and motel in the city. It’s so obvious I’d laugh if it weren’t so sad.